Suzan W. Bateson was appointed Executive Director of Alameda County Community Food Bank in April 2001. During her tenure, the Food Bank has grown the annual budget from $3.75M to $40M, quadrupled the roster of employees, and quintupled annual food distribution to 58 million pounds. The organization’s success and bold approach earned it Feeding America’s national food bank of the year in 2016, and numerous other recognitions.
In 2005, Suzan was the first Food Bank leader in the nation to stop the distribution of carbonated beverages, promising her board of directors that she would replace the million-pound loss in distribution with farm-fresh produce. Since then, the Food Bank has increased distribution of produce from under 1 million to 22 million pounds annually.
Suzan was Feeding America’s 2020 recipient of the John van Hengel Fellowship award – the highest honor awarded annually to a Food Bank leader. She is a 2017 inductee into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame, which honors local outstanding women for their contributions in many areas of service to our county. Suzan is currently chair of Feeding America’s Western Region and serves on a number of Feeding America committees; is a board member of California Association of Food Banks; and was an inaugural member of Feeding America’s Policy Engagement and Advocacy Committee (PEAC) advisory committee. These are all important contributions, but Suzan is most proud of the justice, equity, and inclusion work that she and her colleagues at ACCFB have engaged in over the past decade. ACCFB’s work in equity and inclusion is a practice, because Suzan says we’ll continue to be practicing as we learn and grow.
Suzan attended California College of the Arts and was a participant in the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. She lives in Moraga with her husband, John, and their rescue dog, Zena (thank you EBSPCA). Especially now – but previously as well – Suzan, John and the family enjoy celebrating just about anything she (and they) can think of including birthdays, milestones, and family photo day. The entire family lives locally.